1. The Internship
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t start with this one. This is WISH after all.
Even though internships are under all kinds of scrutiny today for basically having free labor, they remain one of the best ways you can spend your summer. The numbers bear that out. By having a summer internship, you build your resume, gain real world experience in whatever field you want to pursue, make connections, and ultimately find out if you like what you’re doing. That’s key. Plus there’s always a chance you’ll gain full-time employment when you graduate. That is, if you work hard, apply yourself and really show an interest in what you’re doing.
2. Why Not Volunteer?
It isn’t just academics. Employers like to see a well-rounded resume. Volunteering in the field is the best way to make that happen. It offers many of the same benefits of an internship. You can develop your job skills, explore other interests, make new friends, and above all enhance your education. Plus it just looks good. Make sure you look into volunteer opportunities in your area and take full advantage of them.
3. Get Ready For More School
By beefing up for graduate school. Maybe you’re going into law. Perhaps you’re going for your MBA. Well, now would be the perfect time to check out some graduate programs and start planning. Start working on your cover letter, resume, and references, and prepare for entrance exams like the LSAT or GMAT. It’s best to do all this now because you won’t be burdened by your usual semester workload.
4. Or You Could Just Take a Class
Summer school may not seem like your ideal way to spend the sunny months, but most schools offer a summer session with a variety of courses. This would be an excellent time to knock out some of those prerequisites or general education requirements that you need. Doing so will allow you to spend the school year doing all of the things mentioned above. You could also take a course that isn’t necessarily on your career path but will add a new skill to your resume. Again, it just makes you look well-rounded.
5. Or Even Better, Get a Job
If all else fails, you could head home and get a part-time job. Staying with friends or family is a great way to save a little money while still earning some extra cash. Also, remember that a job can mean lots of different things that could pay dividends down the road(pun intended). Dividends such as earning a pay check, more resume experience, possibly new contacts that could help you after you graduate, real world experience, and good skills you can bring back to campus in the fall.
All of the above are great ways to spend your summer with the intent of making you stronger for the fall and beyond. Pick whichever activity is best for you and what you’re actually able to do and make the most of it. The only question now is, how will you spend your summer?